To mark the occasion of Cooper Hewitt’s reopening in 2014, the museum published an expansive book based on its unparalleled collection, which consists of more than 210,000 objects from all over the world, spanning 30 centuries.
Designed by Irma Boom—and a wonderful design object in itself at over 900 pages—the book expresses the museum’s primary goal: to inspire people to see how design impacts their lives. Available in two editions—one edition in red, black, and yellow; and a limited edition available only at Cooper Hewitt SHOP in neon pink and glow in the dark (all jackets printing with glow in the dark ink)—the book embodies design process. This user-centered approach is reinforced throughout the pages with 54 narratives and an extensive process glossary that discusses individual objects through a design lens. Featuring more than 1,100 collection objects selected by the curatorial staff, Smithsonian Design Library, and renowned designer Irma Boom, Making Design is organized entirely by Boom’s visual sequencing of images; her design and the curators’ essays weave parallel narratives throughout the book. This wildly playful and unexpected jaunt through the collection ends with Boom’s exploration of her process, “Making Making Design,” which embraces the essence of the design process and the new experiences in Cooper Hewitt’s galleries.